Tuesday, 24 May 2011
REVIEW: DANGER MOUSE & DANIELE LUPPI-ROME (Starring Jack White & Norah Jones)
'Rome' is beautiful. Hear it for yourself.
Get your tape decks, CD changers and mp3's ready for a musical collaboration like no other. Now we all know that producer Danger Mouse has pushed the envelope to the letter, (see Gnarles Barkley, 'The Grey Album') collaborating with everyone from Beck to MF Doom, but these days he is writing arguably his best productions. Now teaming up with influential, Italian producer Daniele Luppi, Danger Mouse drops 'Rome', a capital exclamation. This instrumental album is so hauntingly beautiful and epic it may as well be a soundtrack to a film as these two musical directors fine-tune this ground breaking recording. They also make this cinematic feeling classic a star-studded affair casting this musical generations heavyweights Norah Jones and Jack White for their unique, individual vocals.
This perfect piece is introduced with 'Theme of Rome', an evocative, epic, evoking track that begins this musical trail. Then on 'The Rose with the Broken Neck' Jack White's vocals bloom on a bone-to-concrete track that goes to the toughest of introspective depths. Then there's a little break after Jack's first of three appearances. The 'Morning Fog' interlude comes into view with beautiful, awakening keys. While the song 'Morning Fog' itself clears the highest expectations you could put on these cult, classic chasing producers with it's sheer brilliance.
As Norah Jones first of three performances is planted, 'Season's Tree's' show a growth in the sultry singers already genre-versatile vocals (it almost doesn't sound like her until her trademark tones shine through). Norah's heart and soul produces one of the albums most beautiful vivid tracks. Air, Royksopp, Zero 7 and Groove Armada would all be proud even on their best day. The interlude 'Her Hollow Ways' is full of depth and beauty, sounding like a real unforgettable muse inspired it. While the song itself expands the concept and the albums theme even more with it's terrific testament. Also an album favourite, 'Roman Blue' is an incredible instrumentation bringing both sadness and inspiration to this introspective but uplifting project.
As the pair pick up Jack White again for the collaboration 'Two Against One' you have a single-worthy sound that still fits the pattern of this albums piece. This song is so diversely appealing Jack could have penned it for The White Stripes, The Raconteurs or even his darker band The Dead Weather. After these big collaborations, the pair go it alone, putting 'The Gambling Priest' on the table. A different but confident roll of the dice. While 'The World (Interlude)' is holy musical purity. Amen to that.
Norah Jones smooth, soulful, sincere vocals illuminate the bluesy 'Black' as Miss Jones returns beautifully to convey the songs emotion and tone perfectly. 'The Matador Has Fallen' is another track that would fit perfectly on any movie's soundboard from a Tarantino piece to a Kubrick one. This soundtrack feeling composition scores big once again on 'Problem Queen', as Easy Listening royalty Jones brings the drama and devotion to her songwriting and singing craft. The album finishes on 'The World' and this track just like it's interlude keeps this cohesive, classic set going with earthly, musical expansion for the ears.
Overall bringing the elements of Luppi's Italian influence and Danger Mouse's musical movie making together create a perfect potent mix. 'Rome' is as rich, vivid, old fashioned and beautiful like it's cities namesake in the incredible, inspiring country of Italy. This album sounds and feels like more then any old record. Epic, deep and haunting, this album will stay with you as it really is a timeless classic. the pair work perfectly together but it's the 'Starring Role' additions of White and Jones that complete this project, taking it to extraordinary ranges. Norah and Jack fit so well here-they are more then just guest features-they are part of the album, just check the promotional photos. The platinum pair should record an album together and let's hope this isn't the last time this whole group of talent gets on the same hymn sheet. Still if this is it, it truly is one-of-a-kind for the ages. TIM DAVID HARVEY.